Pan Am Recap: “Truth or Dare”

I read that Pan Am just got a 5-script order from ABC, which means that it’s not exactly safe from cancelling yet (since it’s for scripts and not episodes), but we’ll see. I’ll be lying if I say I’ll miss it, but it’s fun while it’s still here.

Sweep season is coming to TV soon (it’s usually in November and May, when all the shows put out their biggest storylines, most famous guest stars, etc.) so this week’s episode has one big storyline coming to a head – Kate’s spying/romance, and as usual, it’s the most interesting.

The scene where Kate struggles to convince Niko to defect in the interrogation room is quite nice. Looks like we won’t be seeing Niko around anymore, and that makes me sad, but it’s bittersweet and overall a nice wrap-up for a pretty well-written story arc.

I have one word for Laura’s storyline: whatever. It’s just another broad, on-the-nose touch on the “social issue of the era”, racism this time. I’m also tired of the show’s technique of storytelling through flashbacks – it’s mostly done with Laura’s storylines, curiously enough. Is it because the writers themselves know that the audience won’t be interested in Laura’s stories if they don’t tease us with the aftermath and make us stick around for the “what happened” part?

Well, it backfired, because they hold on to that flashback for too long that about halfway through the episode, after numerous hints from Joe the sailor that he “did something” on the plane, I literally yelled at the TV, “Did he grope her or what? Just tell us already!” And the reveal? Disappointingly predictable, as usual. The conclusion is nice, but the story is dragged out too long that I don’t care anymore.

Colette’s whole storyline this week is that the girls dare her to fly a plane and she sort of bamboozles her way into the cockpit (that sounds like some sort of innuendo.) Seriously, that’s it. It speaks volume to how good of an actress Karine Vanasse is, that she brings such life to the scene. But this is just another way to push the Dean/Colette thing, so unless they’re also introducing a new story arc where Colette goes to flying school, I don’t give a damn.

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4 Comments on “Pan Am Recap: “Truth or Dare””

  1. Cortney A. says:

    Flashbacks can be done well (see: “Memento” an amazing movie told completely backwards), but it seems like the writers are using it as a crutch in Pan Am.

    I giggled at Colette’s storyline. So they dare her to fly a plane and she just sits in the cockpit? (Also, since they kind of rely on the plane to keep them alive when they’re in air why would you want an untrained person flying your plane?)

    • Salazar says:

      I agree about that flashbacks can be effective if done well (not just “Memento”, but like every Chris Nolan movie ever), but
      in TV it can be trickier.

      OK, this is the gist of Colette’s storyline: the girls are drinking and playing “truth or dare”, and Colette’s dare is to fly the plane. So she gets the co-pilot to leave the cockpit and sits in his chair. And Dean lets go of the control for like a second, but I think the plane is on autopilot so it doesn’t even count. It’s just a pointless plot to get the Dean/Colette romance going again, which I don’t approve.

  2. Kirk says:

    Dean takes the plane off auto pilot, and Colette gets to handle the jet briefly. Nothing unusual here and very common back when cockpit visits by passengers were allowed. Once the jet is cruising, having a non-pilot take the yoke briefly offers no hazard. Hopefully the Dean-colette romance will continue. She is the best part of the show.

    • Salazar says:

      Thanks for clearing that up! I wasn’t sure what was happening in that scene myself.

      And yes, Colette is the best part of the show, but her romance with Dean… eh. He’s too bland.


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